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5 Ways “Thinking Outside The Box” Works, 5 Ways It Doesn’t

5 Ways "Thinking Outside The Box" Works, 5 Ways It Doesn't

We’ve all heard the saying “think outside the box”, but what does it really mean? Does it work? Thinking outside the box is a way to bring new, creative ideas to any project or goal. It’s a way to push your limits. It’s a way to expand your expectations. It’s bringing forth a new and novel way to tackle a problem. Try these 5 creative ideas to begin, “thinking outside the box”: 1. Watch others. Learn from them. Look and listen. What do successful people do that you’re not doing or considering? 2. Expand your creativity by taking up a new creative project. Learn to paint or play a musical instrument. Take up creative writing. Work on a design project. Explore and expand your creativity with an activity you’ve never done before. 3. Mix up your daily routine. Routine can be a good thing, but when you want to expand your mind, try something novel. Move through your day looking for a different way to do things. Take a different way to work. Order up a different type of coffee than your usual. Take a break from the ordinary. 4. Question things. Pose the question, and then answer it as if you are someone else. Think how a successful person would answer the question. Think how a child would answer the question. Then expand on those answers with your own ideas, and see if you can make them grow. 5. Learn something new. Expansion and growth only occur if we’re willing to learn new things. Be open and curious to listening to, and learning from, new and novel ideas, information, and strategies. When does “thinking outside the box” NOT work? Keeping your thinking “inside the box”, close to home, so to speak, is effective for these 5 reasons: 1. Building on

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9 Ways Permissive Parents Hurt Children

9 Ways Permissive Parents Hurt Children

OK, I admit that it may be an exaggeration to say that if you are a permissive parent you are hurting your children, but there are problems associated with being the parent who doesn’t discipline and doesn’t set limits or consequences. This weekend on “The Joan Jerkovich Show” listen for “Over-Parenting? Teach Your Child Independence”, “Surviving Abusive Parents,” and “Embarrassed By Helicopter Parents.” Empowering talk radio from your Life Coach! Following are 9 problem areas that can crop up when “Permissive Parents” don’t set limits. See if you can identify your parenting style with any of them. 1. Permissive parents let the children dictate the rules. Seriously, the child does not need to see the R-rated movie when they’re only 14; or they don’t need to stay up late on a school night; or they don’t need a curfew later than is age appropriate. These can be harmful to a child who needs help with setting limits. 2. Permissive parents feel the rights of children trump the rights of adults. You’ve seen me blog on this. These are the kids whose parents let them run all around in the nice restaurant because they haven’t been taught good behavior. This, in my opinion, is where the parents (not the children) need a consequence. Can we send our dinner tab to their table since their rowdy children disrupted our dinner out? 3. Permissive parents are overprotective. If mom and dad overprotect their child from the inevitable life lessons that sadness and disappointment bring, then a child begins to fear failure. They might avoid taking risks because they don’t believe they can emotionally handle a possible poor outcome. 4. Permissive parents don’t encourage self-denial. I equate self-denial to self-discipline. Think of how a lack of self-discipline can set a child up for failure.

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Start The New Year With Gratitude

Start The New Year With Gratitude

Gratitude is expressing thanks. This can be done internally in quiet moments of prayer, or meditation, or it can be spread out in to the world. Either way, to express thanks, can be the basis from which to live your best life. As we begin another New Year, consider starting a practice of showing or expressing gratitude daily Do you want to feel happier? Would you like to increase your sense of well-being, your energy and optimism? Are you motivated to decrease your stress level? Cultivating a daily discipline of expressing gratitude can reap these rewards. Get started by writing in a journal all the things you are grateful for, or by consciously reciting in your mind all the things you are thankful to have in your life. One can get creative with practicing gratitude by setting a gratitude jar in the kitchen to drop notes into, or record them on your smart phone for later reference. When thinking of things you are grateful for, move beyond the expected such as family and friends. If you broaden the scope of things you are grateful for, in time, even the smallest thing such as a new bud on your rosebush, or your pet learning a new trick, will bring you peace and joy and reduce your stress levels. It’s easy to feel grateful for the good things you have in your life, what is hard, is to feel grateful for the challenges that life has delivered. This is where the notion of discipline comes in to play. Discipline is the exercise of self-control. You have the choice to see things in a negative light, or to give them a positive spin. Practice and discipline yourself to feel, think and express thanks. Making the conscious choice to live in gratitude will be

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Questioning Religious Beliefs? One of Joan’s Favorite Callers!

Questioning Religious Beliefs? One of Joan's Favorite Callers!

Daniel talks about being raised to believe in Jesus. He attended church with his family every Sunday and went to a Christian School through age 12. From a young age, he was told to “believe in Jesus”. Yet, at age 24, he struggles with his belief in Christianity, and with what Jesus means to him personally. Although Daniel’s call originally broadcast in December 2013, he remains one of my favorite callers! Listen to Daniel in the Podcast titled, “Questioning Religious Beliefs”. Listen as we explore some of these questions: • What is belief? • Can we make ourselves believe, just because our parents “said so”? • What if belief is “easy for them”, but not for you? • What is Faith? Where can it be found? • Joan shares that “Faith is a gift”. • If we don’t have faith, is there something wrong with us? • Can an intense spiritual seeking, or life challenge, lead you to faith? Daniel thought he would eventually find God, but it never really happened for him. He stopped going to church after he left home. He said he “gave up” trying… Yet, Daniel found God in an unexpected way, through his study of Mathematics. He also got more interested in Jesus through his study of Art. Listen as we discuss belief, proof of God versus the mystery of God, and atheism. Allow your own personal spirituality to flow as you listen to this conversation with Daniel. He found his truth. He found a way to live with the mystery of faith. He found a way to relish it, and to revel in it. …one of my favorite callers! This weekend on “The Joan Jerkovich Show”, I talk with Joe who is an “Atheist Challenged With Dating Christians”. Listen for ways to relate, and

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The Secret To Motivation, And The Yoga Lady Story

The Secret To Motivation, And The Yoga Lady Story

If you can find the magic formula for motivation, I will help you put it in to pill form and market it. Then, together, we can buy our vacation home on the beach and spend our days sifting sand and sipping tropical drinks that are colored blue, peach and yellow…with garnishes of strawberry and pineapple. I’ll even let you eat my garnishes! Motivation is elusive. Don’t believe me? Just ask the many people who’ve started diets and failed; or began that exercise program only to quit after a few weeks; or are still writing their first novel after 10 years. While I don’t proclaim to have all the answers to how to get and stay motivated, I have learned a few things through trial and error and from others. Those smart research-people-types, who teach this kind of thing, will tell you that it’s important to set goals. If you don’t set a goal, you don’t have a target to shoot for. I call it “having your eye on the prize”. Setting goals is a science unto itself. And to do it right and improve your chances for success, set S-M-A-R-T goals: S: Specific. Break the goals down in to what we like to talk of in Life Coaching circles as “baby steps”. Make a list of all the little steps you will take to get started. Keep them as clearly defined and precise in their descriptions as possible. The Yoga Lady Story I know of a lady who wanted to start doing Yoga, so she wrote down the process of getting started very specifically. I think she was overly specific, and maybe a little batty, but she found it helpful to write down that she would get started by simply getting out her yoga mat. She would lay it on

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Identify And Manage A Passive Aggressive Personality

Identify And Manage A Passive Aggressive Personality

If you ever find yourself on the receiving end of a passive aggressive attack, it may leave you scratching your head wondering if the attack was intentional, or a reasonable mistake. Maybe they just haven’t gotten around to responding to your email? Or they forgot? Or their comment to you wasn’t meant to be cutting and critical, it was just a poor choice of words where you misperceived what they said. What one sign will point you to the fact that you are dealing with a passive aggressive person? They repeat this type of behavior. We all step in do-do on occasion. We have all been known to say dumb-shit stuff we regret later. But, the passive aggressive isn’t making mindless mistakes; their actions are calculated and intentional. The hallmark of a passive aggressive attack is that it is intentionally indirect and intentionally covertly delivered. It is the cowardly, lily-livered and chicken-hearted way of addressing an issue. This is the attack that sneaks up on you from behind. Yes, it can be shrouded in fancy words or slight-of-hand actions, but it will still hit you hard like a gut punch. But here’s where it gets tricky, because the mask of passive aggressive has many shapes and colors. Get ready for this parade of go-to-favorites most commonly used by this personality type: Procrastination Forgetfulness Indirect criticism Outright sabotage Silent treatment Intentional obstruction and inefficiency Stubbornness Neglect Victimhood Argumentative General negativity Have you heard enough? Or do you want a scholarly opinion? Author Dr. Sam Vaknin writes that “passive-aggressiveness has a lot in common with pathological narcissism: the destructive envy, the recurrent attempts to buttress grandiose fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience, the lack of impulse control, the deficient ability to empathize, and the sense of entitlement, often incommensurate with its real-life achievements.”

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Strategies For Battling Negative Self-Talk

Strategies For Battling Negative Self-Talk

How could I be so stupid? My life sucks. I’m a failure. I never seem to do anything right. I’m not going to be able to pull that off. There’s no way I can get all this done. No one ever appreciates what I do anyway. And on the story goes… Are you a negative Nelly or Ned? Are you sick of hearing the negative talk that constantly rolls around in your head? If this is the story playing out in your head, it’s time to consider hitting the OFF switch on the negative self-talk! First, see if you identify with these 4 most common distortions of thinking: 1. Filtering – No matter what happens, you only seem to dwell on the negative. Even if you got the promotion at work, it’s your fault you didn’t get it months earlier. 2. Personalizing – You always blame yourself. It’s your fault that things don’t always go as planned, or someone in the family is fighting, or people at work are unhappy. 3. Catastrophizing – You anticipate the worst. You spill coffee on yourself first thing in the morning so expect that the whole rest of the day will be a disaster. 4. Polarizing – Everything in your world is either good or bad. Black or white. You’re either perfect or a total failure. If you battle with negative self-talk, try these strategies for turning it OFF: • Identify the things you usually think negatively about • Choose one of those things to work on • Practice thinking positively instead of negatively in that one area • Stop yourself during the day to monitor your thoughts • Evaluate objectively what you’re thinking • If you catch yourself in negative thinking, turn it in to a positive statement • Using humor, laugh and smile at yourself and

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Hate Crimes And Suicide Rates In The LGBTQ Community

Hate Crimes And Suicide Rates In The LGBTQ Community

In 1998, Matthew Shepard was murdered at the age of 21 for being gay. His murderers assaulted him severely, and tied him to a fence with a rope while Shepard pleaded for his life. It was reported that Shepard was beaten so brutally that his face was completely covered in blood, except where it had been partially washed clean by his tears. In 1998, James Byrd, Jr., a 49-year-old African-American man, was murdered by known white supremacists. His three murderers beat him severely, urinated on him, then wrapped a heavy logging chain around his ankles so that they could drag him behind their pick-up truck. They drug him for three miles along an asphalt road. He was conscious throughout most of the ordeal until his body hit the edge of a culvert, severing his right arm and decapitating him. The three men dumped their victim’s mutilated remains in front of an African-American church; then went to a barbecue. The following morning, Byrd’s limbs were found scattered across a seldom-used road. The police found 81 places that were littered with Byrd’s remains. In response to these two brutal murders, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, also known as the Matthew Shepard Act, is an American Act of Congress, passed on October 22, 2009, and signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 28, 2009, This law expands the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. According to FBI statistics, of the over 113,000 hate crimes since 1991, 55% were motivated by racial bias, 17% by religious bias, 14% sexual orientation bias, 14% ethnicity bias, and 1% disability bias. Sexual orientation bias was found with the same frequency as ethnicity

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9 Dangerous Clues That Your Boyfriend’s Female Friend Is MORE Than “JUST A FRIEND”

9 Dangerous Clues That Your Boyfriend's Female Friend Is MORE Than "JUST A FRIEND"

Even if your boyfriend has reassured you over and over again that his female friend is “just a friend”, there may be clues that their relationship skirts the danger zone of becoming something more. 1. He talks glowingly about her When he talks about her, you see his eyes glaze over with the look that you thought was reserved just for you. It’s the look your man gave you when you first met and fell in love. If you see that starry look in his eyes when he talks about her, danger may be lurking. 2. He runs to her with his problems You’re his girlfriend, and you expect to be his number one support person, yet, you find him calling her when issues arise. If he turns to her for emotional support, when he should be leaning on you, continue to watch for other disturbing clues. 3. He looks for opportunities to hang out with her…alone…without you If there’s always something that the two of them have to do together, alone, keep a watchful eye on their behavior. The reasons they may give you for their alone time could be to say that this is their friend thing, or that they’ve always done this together, and you can join them next time. There may be a next time, or there may not, but don’t be blindsided by a dramatic turn in your relationship where you find yourself alone…again and again. 4. You find her stuff in his apartment This is where your boyfriend tells you that he’s storing her things at his place because she ran out of storage space at her apartment. He may be just helping a friend out, but, beware if he’s helping “store” her pink toothbrush in his bathroom! 5. He’s there for her when

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6 Reasons He WON’T Ask You Out On A Second Date

6 Reasons He WON'T Ask You Out On A Second Date

Do you want to secure a second date with that hot guy you’ve been excited to go out with? As taken from a sampling of single men in their 20’s and 30’s, here are 6 things that will land you in the “no-call zone” where you won’t be asked out a second time. 1. If you talk too much, don’t expect that “I’ll call you later” to be more than empty words, flippantly said to get away from you…never to return again. Yes! This was the first answer given by both age groups! So, if you have a naturally bubbly, outgoing personality, make sure you skip the caffeine before your first date. The last thing you want to do is to rev up your motor mouth, and kill the guy with word slaughter! Tone it down. Ask him questions. Let him talk. Keep your mouth shut. Listen. Make your conversation a two-way exchange and you’ll improve your chances for a second rendezvous. 2. Their Internet spying turned up some crazy, scary, dirt on you. If they haven’t Googled you or checked out your Facebook profile before your first date, you can be sure they will before your second. Doing their “research” on you was a hands-down, positively must-do, dating ritual for these men. They want to know all they can about you before they take things further, so expect to by spied on via the Internet. Also, expect that they will ask their friends about you. If they find out you’re a girl with a nasty, “slept with the whole football team” dating history, they will cancel out. That’s not the sort of “team sport” these good-guy-types are interested in. 3. They’re scared away by your troubled family. A first date isn’t the best time to tell them about your

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